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1869 Stockton Mine Disaster - Hazleton, PA

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

Site of 1869 Stockton Mine Disaster. In the early morning hours of Dec. 18, 1869, six people were killed when their homes collapsed into a mine cave-in, plummeting 400-feet deep, created by miners working too close to the surface. The remains of the buildings caught fire when stoves inside their homes were overturned in the collapse. Among the people that were killed was a Civil War vet.

Next to the two houses was the Wetterau residence. John Wetterau’s daughter, Mary, ran back into their house to get her new hat. While in the house it caved in taking Mary with it and imprisoning her in the wreckage. Stockton miners were lowered into the burning wreckage to rescue Mary. At first they suggested Mary’s leg be cut off to rescue her but were able to rescue her without that happening.

It was agreed that the miners would retrieve the bodies of those that perished, but fresh cave-ins kept forming and the dead could not be reached. The hole was filled up and a marble slab placed over the spot. When the marble slab was erected it was decided that no description of what had happened was needed as the story would never be forgotten.

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